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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  2. Pupil absenteeism, measurement, and menstruation: Evidence from Kenya

    Impact evaluations focused on school absenteeism commonly use school records of untested quality or expensive spot-check data. We use a large dataset on more than 30,000 unannounced random spot-checks for 6,000 female and male students across 30 schools in Western Kenya, with equivalent school record entries. First, we confirm that while absenteeism is common overall, pubescent girls miss more schooldays than boys because of high incidence of school transfers. …

  3. Menstrual hygiene management guideline

    This Guide supports organizations working on MHM to encourage all girls and women to adopt safer menstrual hygiene practices. It also demonstrates how to work with communities and implement concrete actions for effective menstrual management. The target audience for MHM encompasses behavior change communication audiences referred to as primary participant groups –all women and girls - secondary audiences such as relevant technical officials at all levels, and advocacy or tertiary audiences – political leaders.

  4. Menstruation: Breaking the silence, taking action

    In 2014, the United Nations declared May 28 of every year as Menstrual Hygiene Day in recognition of the woes girls and women experience during menstruation. This was a reaffirmation of the world’s commitment to create more befitting living conditions for girls and women. Uganda commemorated the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014 and in August of the same year held the first International Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference, here in Kampala. …

  5. Understanding and managing menstruation: a reader for learners

    This reader is a Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) initiative to provide information to pupils on understanding of menstruation and managing it well, particularly to beginners.

  6. Turning inside out

    UNESCO in partnership with Ministry of Education and with financial support from the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, community and Civil society organizations implemented a two year Health Literacy and Behaviour Change practices among Adolescent Girls pilot project from September 2014-September 2017 in 41 schools. Health literacy materials were evaluated and approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (K.I.C.D.) for use in other informal settlements. This is a story aimed at what we call ‘level 1’ (ages 10-12). …

  7. Aunt Martha

    This is is a story for pupils/students at what we call ‘level 2’ (ages 13-14). It deals with the issues of negative traditional practices (female genital mutilation) on girls and the resulting medical problems, and with early marriage and early pregnancy and making the right choices. The story features a sensitive conversation between a mother and daughter, Agnes, the daughter, learns about her aunt who has passed away, about empathy and about good relationships. Agnes’ father is supportive and a positive male role model, although he remains in the background. …

  8. Regional lesson plans: a set of individual scripted lesson plans for comprehensive sexuality education in East and Southern Africa

    This set of 14 individual scripted lesson plans was developed to support school-based delivery of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in East and Southern Africa. The scripted lesson plans are intended to provide teachers with material often lacking in existing life skills and CSE curricula, which can be used to supplement existing resources and support the delivery of CSE. …

  9. Regional module for teacher training on comprehensive sexuality education for East and Southern Africa

    The module was developed as a resource to support pre–service training of teachers for the delivery of school–based sexuality education in East and Southern Africa.

  10. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  11. WASH in schools empowers girls' education in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An assessment of menstrual hygiene management in schools

    From June through July 2012, Emory University and UNICEF collaborated in research aimed to understand the range of challenges faced by girls during menstruation in urban Freetown, as well as the determinants of those challenges. This report presents the methods, findings and key programmatic recommendations to address menstruation-related challenges among girls. More than 100 participants were engaged in eight schools and two communities, including teachers and girls, both in school and out of school.

  12. WASH in schools empowers girls’ education. Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2012

    WASH in Schools (WinS) fosters social inclusion and individual self-respect. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, it empowers all students – and especially encourages girls and female teachers. In recognition of the positive impact on girls’ school attendance and achievement, initiatives around the world are addressing adolescent girls’ menstrual hygiene management (MHM) needs through WinS programming. …

  13. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  14. Growing up at school. A guide to menstrual management for school girls

    This booklet has been written to help school girls manage the critical period when they enter adolescence between the ages of 10 and 14. Adolescence is the time during which boys and girls grow from childhood into adulthood and changes take place in their bodies. During this period, known as puberty, menstruation starts in girls.

  15. WASH in schools empowers girls' education. Proceedings of the menstrual hygiene mananagement in schools virtual conference 2013

    There is increasing interest in exploring and addressing the menstrual hygiene management (MHM) barriers facing schoolgirls and female teachers in educational settings. Around the globe, WASH in Schools (WinS) focuses on fostering social inclusion and individual self-respect – and addresses MHM as a key agenda. By offering an alternative to the stigma and marginalization associated with hygiene issues, integrating MHM into WinS empowers all students, and especially encourages girls and female teachers. …

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